Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sharing stories

Bubbles at the picnic

I have always felt especially drawn to photography as an art medium and can't believe it has taken me this long to try it for myself.  Maybe it's the fact that I've always deemed myself an art appreciator not an art creator?  I'm not sure, but one thing I do know is that the story behind the picture is what captivates me.  I love the fact that photos have a personal story behind them, but that the viewer can see his own story in them as well.  I touched on this idea in my last post - the idea that photographs have a sense of the universal.  This is what makes the art form more accessible in my opinion.  The challenge, of course, lies in putting your own mark on it.  At this point in my life, my goal in photographing is two-fold: I'm trying to capture the moments of our lives, but I'm also attempting to add an artistic flair to the everyday.

Playing with Batman!
Week 5 of the Slice of Life Project challenged me to do just that -- to photograph the moments of my life, to tell my story.  I have to work on being in the moment of photographing and being patient with it, but for now it is in reviewing the photos I've snapped that I'm in heaven!  I get giddy when I find I've captured the moment just right :)  This course has been a wonderful treat - helping me see that I can tell a story through photos!  The picture of my sister playing with Batman brings a huge smile to my face.  I love to see any mother so beautifully engaged with her child, and feel you can almost hear their laughter.  Of course, I'm especially enamored with the image because it's MY sister who is the engaged mother ;)  When I see the picnic blanket from our day at the park, I'm flooded with ideas of the innocence of childhood and romantic notions of dining alfresco.  Yet, on the personal side, the memory of how sweet Beansprout and his friend were as they ran around with balloons and tried to capture bubbles helps the day linger in my thoughts, a reminder of how lucky I am to have created a small family of friends out here so far away from home.

I hope these little slices of my life are helping me make connections with people close and far!  Thanks for reading ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The People We Know

Hands - Mom & Beansprout

In Week 4 of the Slice of Life Project we focused on the people in our lives.  I really enjoyed looking at the people I know and love from a different perspective than the usual "smile" portraits, as the idea this week was to concentrate on body language and to avoid photographing faces.  I think this has been my favorite assignment, because it really forced me to pay attention to people in a different way.

Legs/Feet - Family and Friends

Carrying Beansprout

Chatting with Papa

Lucky enough to be "home" to photograph people (hence my delay in posts), I was struck by the fact that I was already so familiar with some of the body language of the people in my life.  The way my mom stands at the counter, or the way my best friend always pulls her hair back . . . the way my husband holds Beansprout, and the "so what's new?" look that Beansprout flashes are just a few of the things I noticed!  It was wonderful to be able to capture with my camera something I already knew or maybe felt, but had never consciously paid attention to.  Not only that!  I've noticed something I hadn't seen before . . . when I look at the hands of my mom and Beansprout, I wonder if I, too, hold my hands that way!?!
Deanne at the Playground
At Tracy's.


I know not everyone digs the faceless photos.  My mom claims that photos of Beansprout without his face don't count and as I was snapping away during a family dinner, my sister protested when I took a picture of her feet!  I, however, am finding true beauty in the subtly of this approach.  These images show the real person, not a "say cheese" moment.  I'm also amazed at how universal many of these photos become - the image could be of anyone or everyone.  For example, the image of Deanne at the playground could be any mom and the picture of Matt holding Beansprout could be any dad - I love that!  Of course, I also love that these are my beautiful loved ones :)

What subtle body language do you notice of those around you?  Isn't it beautiful!?! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Light in the Forest

Heart-shaped ray of light!
Inviting bridge.
My photography goal this week was to try and work with light!  I can't seem to get enough of the apps on my new iPhone, so I thought bringing it along on our hike would be a fun way to capture the moment in a new way and without any flashes!  We were fortunate to have some gorgeous weather here this weekend, and the rays of sunlight streaming onto the trail did not disappoint :)
Sweet moments on the trail.
Peeking at the river.

I mentioned in my post on our recent holidays that we've come to realize our little Beansprout LOVES the woods!  I enjoy the idea of getting around to different trails in the area and so we've indulged Beansprout's sense of adventure with a couple of hikes on our favorite trails these past couple of weekends.  They say having a young child really helps you open your eyes and our hikes in the woods are definitely proving that!  Matt and I can't get over how much fun Beansprout is having walking through mud, climbing onto and over rocks, and crossing river bridges :)  He's thrilled by the ups and downs of the hills and wants "more" bridges every time we cross one!  I guess it's like a HUGE obstacle course built by Mother Nature and what little boy wouldn't love that!?!  We're happy to see that our little guy feels quite at home on the trail.  And he's quite the trooper on some rather challenging hikes!  Though he often takes a shoulder ride toward the end, I'm really surprised by how much of the trail he walks on his own. (I don't think he'd be happy to know we originally thought he'd be in a backpack!)  I love watching how confident he is trekking up a hill, not to mention how adorable he looks when he's holding his daddy's hand!  I guess we better get our gear ready for the Fall, because it looks like we won't be able to let the West Coast rainforest we live in keep us indoors!
Ready for a break and a nap!